Animals do have culture, maintains this delightfully illustrated and provocative book, which cites a number of fascinating instances of animal communication and learning. John Bonner traces the origins of culture back to the early biological evolution of animals and provides examples of five categories of behavior leading to nonhuman culture: physical dexterity, relations with other species, auditory communication within a species, geographic locations, and inventions or innovations. Defining culture as the transmission of information by behavioral rather than genetical means, he demonstrates the continuum between the traits we find in animals and those we often consider uniquely human.
"John Tyler Bonner is a biologist who not only knows a great deal about plants and animals but has thought long and carefully about problems of evolution... The pleasure of the book is in the wealth of examples of communication and teaching, many effectively illustrated with drawings or photographs."--J. Z. Young, The London Review of Books "[Bonner] structures his fascinating book as a survey of culture in the animal kingdom, marching up the venerable chain of being toward bigger brains, increasing behavioral complexity, and freedom from rigid genetic programs."--Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Review of Books